Scott Jackman

BENDIGO’s busiest CBD property developer is relying on large scale organic waste dehydration technology in the absence of a council collection, to deal with 200 kilograms of green waste a week.

Scott Jackman, who built the multi-storey, mixed-use 111 Mitchell street apartment complex and has just started work on a five-storey development on Wills Street, has also opted for private sector services for rubbish and recyclables because of the infrequency of the council’s recyclables collection, and to avoid bins cluttering up the kerb.

The City of Greater Bendigo is trialling a twice-a-week organic collection in the CBD for 16 food businesses. Mr Jackman said he decided shortly after completing the Mitchell Street complex in 2016 that he needed to deal with organic waste onsite instead of sending it to landfill.

He sourced a dehydrator that within hours reduced waste volume by 90 per cent, and produced a concentrated garden fertiliser.

A centrally located industrial scale model could be the solution for all of Bendigo’s central businesses and residents, he said.

The technology was called in-vessel and would require a large initial capital outlay but would help to keep bins off the streets.

“If we want dense inner city living, then to have kerbside collection is just insane,” Mr Jackman said.

“We have these streets that are filled with bins and people don’t bring them in and then some businesses don’t have anywhere to put them so they just leave them there all the time and it is hideous and ugly and smelly and clogs up car parks.”

He said the council had agreed to remove the waste charge from the rates of apartment owners.

The complex hosts cafe Ex Lion Tamer which is the major source of organic waste.

Mr Jackman said the cost of the dehydrator, at $35,000, may not have been feasible without a grant from the Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery Group.

The grant makes the technology at 111 Mitchell Street a demonstration site for other businesses, and data that measures the impact in the first 12 months of operation will help with future developments of high density living.

Mr Jackman said there was a greater cost benefit to install the technology at his new development at 23 Wills Street because he recovered space that normally would been used up by bins.

“I recover more of the building mass for liveable area and the reapplication of that space helps recover the cost of the equipment,” he said.

“And there is an amenity improvement.

“If you are in a mixed use building with a number of users in them, if you have got one of the tenants with a high volume of organic material, there is the potential for smells, odours, rodents, vermin, and it starts to get disharmonious for all the users who are trying to use that space.

“To be able to condense that in a clean and hygienic way, it means that everyone gets along a little bit better.”

Mr Jackman said there was fertiliser available to give away at the cost of a coffee at the Ex Lion Tamer.

– Sharon Kemp